Bloody Mess: hypertoxic propaganda

a 4 1/2 minute short film was released and then withdrawn by the 10:10 coalition on action for climate change.  Designed to awaken a concrete commitment — it somehow fell a foul of some of the ground tenants of Non-toxic Propaganda.  Unbelievably, the filmmakers concerned (I take it primarily the writer — shame, shame) were of considerable stature in British cinema and 50+ professionals donated their labour uncritically?

I threw the longish comment into the discussion:

We at the Future Protection Agency and the Institute for Non-toxic Propaganda have been wrestling with these issues for 20 years — how indeed to get the vague concept of the external fix, into a visceral knowledge that this means drastic renegotiation of the “Comfort Quota” of each and every one of us?

As a campaign for shaking people up, this film doesn’t seem to burst the real psychic bubble — dramaturgically it remains them others who are unwilling, and shall pay the price.  We, through those whom the narrative has us clearly identifying with, can assuage our bad consciousness with a symbolic 10% cut that doesn’t radically impinge upon our parasitic lifestyle.

The opening sequence with the schoolchildren invites a deeper thread where the coming generation avenge their comrades who erred no more than by (commendably?) not doing what they were told, by holding their teacher to her contradictions – but that’s a feature-length plot — and the resources could probably go somewhere other.  The quick dramaturgic fix would have been to play out the voice-over studio scene – Ms Anderson clearly would have seen the bloody punchline coming, and would have had to defend her use of a transatlantic jet etc. etc.. (thin writing?)

Finally, I too was perturbed by the play blood; it does seem a powerful tool that may invoke exactly the degree of discomfort to spur folk into action. From the viewers reactions however, I am not convinced, the division is palpable; I do suspect that it will just retrench the denial reaction.

And it does worry me what kind of world these filmmakers are living in — ( utterly desensitised by the likes of X-files? – I lasted half a gory episode.) Having listened to a friend tell of the experience of plucking the blown up remnants of a neighbour from off her scalp and clothing, I strongly feel that as responsible artists it is part of our mandate not to further tramp upon those who most definitely don’t need the re-tramatisation.

Keep thinking…


About bembodavies

Theatre worker who long ago abandoned theatres, I remain adept at fabricating projects out of thin air. All proposals welcome.
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